The Best Scottish Dog Breeds That Make Great ESAs

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scottish dogs illustration of various scottish dog breeds

Aye, dear Scotland. Castles, fables, ghostly tales, and Nessie. This mystical land of green hills and bagpipes is also home to some wonderful Scottish dog breeds. They’ve received their fair share of airtime on screen, giving adequate limelight to their character traits of being loyal, brave companions.

One such Scottish dog who set the benchmark when it came to loyalty to their owner was Greyfriars Bobby, a Skye Terrier. The story goes that this loyal furball remained at his owner’s grave for fourteen years until he died in 1872. If your Scottish breed rewards you with a portion of that display of devotion then you’re one lucky dog owner.

Who ESAs are and What They Do

Many would agree that a cuddle with their furbaby can lift their spirits. Stroking our pets releases feel-good hormones such as serotonin and oxytocin. Both hormones bring on feelings of trust, social bonding, happiness, and connection. With the high rates of mental health issues present in the world today, a dose of serotonin and oxytocin could go a long way in helping those who struggle with their mental wellbeing.

An emotional support animal (ESA) is an animal that offers support to their owner in the form of companionship, connection, security and more. Whether you need a pet that will ease your anxiety with their gentle nature or provide comfort in the throes of a panic attack, an ESA helps ease symptoms of an emotional or mental disability.

Any Dog Can Be an Emotional Support Dog!

You may have heard of working dogs, therapy dogs or service dogs. All need intensive training. An ESA does not need any special or learned skills. They can be a pure breed or a mixed breed rescue that you adopted at your local shelter. A good ESA is (most commonly) a dog (or cat) that is a loyal companion in your journey to mental wellbeing.

Our Top 10 Scottish Dog Breeds That Make Great ESAs

It is no surprise that the national animal of Scotland is the mythical Unicorn. Unfortunately, this fabled creature would be difficult to find and adopt as your ESA. But don’t lose heart, Scotland has a breed of dog for you! They might not produce rainbow poop, but they will still capture your heart with their adorable temperament.

Arguably the Most Popular Scottish Dogs: Golden Retrievers

The American Kennel Club (AKC) rates this pooch third in popularity out of 193! The Golden Retriever is one of the favorites when it comes to Scottish dog breeds. They’re known to be playful, bouncy and affectionate. They make great family dogs and will love your children…possibly due to the equivalence of their boundless energy!

happy golden retriever running with ball

Gentle Giants: The Scottish Deerhound (Not the Scottish Wolfhound!)

When little Scottish lasses sing in the playground about Skinny Ma Linky Longlegs, they could well be singing about this hound. With its long legs and regal persona, the Scottish Deerhound is considered the “Royal dog of Scottland”. This breed is the tallest of the Scottish breeds, but they are by no means intimidating. Their gentle nature and loyalty make them an excellent companion who loves to be close to their humans.

scottish deerhound standing on rock

The Cute and Cuddly Cairn Terrier

This small dog will make a good lapdog but will also accompany you on adventures. Recognized as scruffy little Toto from The Wizzard of Oz, the Cairn Terrier is a fearless dog. They make a good watchdog and are alert and protective of their family. Cairns require a lot of mental stimulation and will be well suited to an individual or family that will include them in their day-to-day activities.

cute cairn terrier wearing bandanna

Love Little Dogs? The West Highland Terrier aka Westie

Small terrier breeds are often described as energetic, playful and determined. They have independent natures and would do well with some training. The West Highland Terrier is suited to families with older children. Your beloved Westie will be a loyal companion and make an excellent ESA.

west highland white terrier with westie puppy

The Chipper and Cheerful Gordon Setter

The black avenger of the Scottish breeds, the Gordon Setter is bold and confident, but also sweet and affectionate. With their beautiful black outer coats, they do require weekly brushing to keep shedding at bay. The Setter breed is best suited to an active life so if you have a garden and want a playmate to join your family, then the Gordon Setter is a good choice for you.

black and tan gordon setter standing in forest

The Shetland Sheepdog aka Sheltie

Beautiful and intelligent, the Shetland Sheepdog has it all! This breed is good at everything. From tricks, herding your children or being a good watchdog, the Sheltie makes a wonderful ESA. Dog owners will enjoy training this canine friend as the Sheltie is an obedient pup. They are affectionate and cheerful, a great companion and friend.

sheltie shetland sheepdog standing on rock

Fun and Fabulous: The Smooth Collie

A Smooth Collie is the short-haired version of the long-haired and more common Rough Collie. They’re known to be a little closer to their herding roots and require more stimulation and exercise. They’re gentle-natured, loyal and they love their humans.

black white and tan smooth collie dog

The Incredibly Intelligent Border Collie

The Border Collie is a bright and devoted workaholic. True to their historic roots, they make great herding dogs and love to curl up and relax with their human’s after a hard day’s work. They’re intelligent and need a lot of organized activity. If you want to add a guard dog mix to this energetic breed, then look into getting a “Shollie”, a German Shepherd and Border Collie mix.

black and white border collie lying on grass

Loving and Loyal: The Rough Collie

Remember Lassie? The adventurous and dependable Rough Collie we all loved on our screens. Collies are among the easiest breeds to house-break and have an affinity towards children. They are obedient and easily trained, rewarding any family with their affectionate loyalty. This breed struggles with separation anxiety so as an ESA they’ll need your companionship as much as you’ll need theirs.

lassie dog rough collie dog standing in dust road

Saving the Best for Last: The Scottish Terrier aka Scottie Dog

The Scottish Terrier is the epitome of dynamite coming in small packages. This bright and spirited dog is of the most famous Scottish dog Breeds. Even President Franklin Roosevelt was charmed by the Scottie and his pointy ears. His dog Fala remains one of history’s most legendary Scottie dogs.

Unless they’ve been socialized as a puppy, the Scottie does well as the only dog in the house. Small children are bothersome to this breed and it is better suited to a family with older or no children.

scottie dog fluffy black scottish terrier dog

Found Your Scottish ESA? Time to Choose Scottish Dog Names!

Here are our favorite names for the furry laddies and lassies in your life…

  • Bonnie – meaning beautiful.
  • Lassie – Scottish slang for a young girl or named after the famous Rough Collie.
  • Cannie – slang for someone smart; great for your intelligent breeds.
  • Nessie – name your large breed after the Loch Ness Monster.
  • Scotch – pour yourself some of this Scottish whiskey and welcome your furbaby into your lap.
  • Toaty – meaning tiny, great for small animals.
  • Connery – after Sean Connery, the legendary Scottish actor.

Have Your ESA? Time to Make it Official with an ESA Letter

Once you’ve found and bonded with your Scottish dog breed, you can apply for an ESA letter. With this letter in hand, you will have housing and travel benefits for you and your loyal companion.

CertaPet Can Help You Get an Emotional Support Animal Letter

CertaPet’s licensed mental health professionals are available to screen and then issue your ESA Letter. Kick-off the process by taking CertaPet’s 5-minute pre-screening.

Common Questions on Scottish Dog Breeds:

Which Scottish dog breed is easy to train?

What is a “Shollie” dog?

Is a Scottish Terrier a good family dog?

Can I leave my Rough Collie alone?

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